Up-and-coming actor Ian Verdun is set as a series regular on Freeform drama pilot The Deep.

Based on a story by Eric Wald and Dean White, The Deep is a dark re-imagining of the classic mermaid mythology. Set in a small fishing village in the Pacific Northwest, it explores the discovery of a mermaid caught in local waters who turns out to be a wild, ferocious, marine predator.

Verdun will play Xander McClure, a burly deep sea fisherman, big-hearted and tough as nails, who is first mate to his father on a fishing trawler.

Verdun has had guest spots on ABC’s Last Resort, General Hospital and Grey’s Anatomy. His most recent project, Life’s a Drag is about a straight actor who becomes an unlikely star, after entering a drag competition to overcome hard times. The independent pilot took best pilot at the Brooklyn Web Festival, and most recently won the inaugural Diversity in Storytelling Award at Series Fest, in Denver. Verdun is repped by The Talent House LA and Gary Ousdahl of Advanced Management.

Wald and White executive produce The Deep with Brad Luff, Nate Hopper and RD Robb. Scott Stewart is set to direct the pilot. Emily Whitesell will serve as showrunner.